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Russian government shuts down Olympic news source

Olympic Fisht Stadium will be the site of the Sochi game's opening ceremony on Feb. 7 (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) Fisht Olympic Stadium will be the site of the Sochi game's opening ceremony on Feb. 7. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

The Kremlin shut down a state-run agency that had been the source for Olympics news out of Sochi, reports RIA Novosit.

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree to shut down the news service, which had been in operation since 1941.

The RIA Novosti news service and the Voice of Russia radio will now be merged into a new conglomerate called Rossiya Segodnya.

According to the report, Sergei Ivanov, head of the presidential administration, said Russia is hoping to make its state media cheaper and more efficient.

“Russia has its own independent politics and strongly defends its national interests," he told reporters. "It’s difficult to explain this to the world, but we can do this and we must do this."

The Sochi Olympics opening ceremonies will start February 7.

More from RIA Invosti:

The changes, including legislative amendments, must be carried out by the government within three months, according to the Kremlin. Rossiya Segodnya will be located in the current RIA Novosti building in downtown Moscow, the decree said.

RIA Novosti was set up in 1941, two days after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, as the Soviet Information Bureau, and now has reporters in over 45 countries providing news in 14 languages.

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